Yesterdays post made mention of bike riding in my old hometown growing up before there were bike paths. I must be wired now for seeking the road less traveled and the alternative route in the event of weather changes. The bike ride home last night had a skiff of snow making the streets wet and I figured I would take Dayton street instead of the Marshall Ave bike lane. The alternative route means I will not be hassling with cars running up on me or whatever other dangers they present when its dark and wet out. My frustration factor was building up inside and I needed escape.
Somewhere in the realm of common sense bike riding does not become safer just because a paint stripe separates fast-moving cars and trucks from us. After making this commute for the past 12 days, I don’t drive to work, I bike ride, I had a wonderful bike ride home on Dayton. This street parallels Marshall Ave from the Cathedral all the way to the River except for one stretch of 1/2 mile. Along the way I cross many busy streets so waiting for traffic to pass is a given. Twice tho cars and trucks stopped for me in St. Paul. Fresh snow barely covered Dayton while oily looking asphalt blackened Marshall. White light illuminated the fine houses set back along the street while I had the entire block to myself, the sound of my tires and nothing else. Marshall Ave was out there sucking up other riders in the whirl of road crud, bike riders running the gauntlet between parked cars and moving traffic.
This morning I’m back at the wheel and riding the XO4 back up bike since the Raleigh rear wheel was fouled from last nights snow. Marshall Ave was still wet and the bike lane was covered in rock salt so I took Dayton for the heck of it. The alternative to cars is a like being a good cook in the kitchen that makes do with the ingredients on hand. Car driving is like eating out of cans and boxes and drive through windows. The alternative to cars is knowing to live with the weather. Car driving is like being the victim all the time to the weatherman. The alternative to cars is the defining moment by moment that is time. Car driving is the lost guilty passage of time. The alternative to cars is to come face to face with the outdoors. Car driving is our phobia of the unknown outside of our little bubble.
Ride a bike more and drive your car less.